Statistics are often all things to all people but it does appear the UK is seeing sustained economic growth – and Direct Marketing is showing signs of a substantial bounce-back too.
Business confidence grows
The UK economy grew by 1.7% in 2013, and most economists are forecasting growth of about 3% this year as the recovery becomes more entrenched and better balanced, with business investment expected to play a bigger role. This would be above the UK’s long-term growth rate of 2% to 2.5%. Earlier this month the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) confirmed Britain’s economy is settling into above-trend growth, while leading emerging economies such as China, Brazil, India and Russia were losing steam.
Politicians will continue to argue about how much this growth has affected the average working family, but for businesses, the growth has seen a restoration of confidence.
Business confidence has experienced an upward surge according to the most recent ICAEW/Grant Thornton UK Business Confidence Monitor (BCM), with current levels standing at +37.3 as at the second quarter of 2014, a record high. fter climbing for six continuous quarters, confidence is being maintained at a peak, a reliable indication of the way in which economic conditions have stabilised and strengthened during the last 24 months.
Marketing budgets on the up
Marketing budgets often follow where confidence grows. The Drum website reported that the UK advertising spend forecasted for 2014 has been increased to 5.3 percent to £18.8 bn according to the latest forecast release from Warc. Marketing Week also reported Markit chief economist Chris Williamson, also the author of the Bellwether Report, believes that the latest survey shows that companies are started to feel “more confident” about expanding their businesses. He described how the responses to the study revealed a growing optimism about taking a more aggressive stance, launching new products and also investing and advertising in order to build brand awareness. The financial guru believes that the stability of the current economic recovery will be enhanced by this upswing in risk appetite, and is good reason to feel upbeat about the prospects for the year.
In April this year News Editor of Marketing Week Russell Parson came out and declared that Direct Marketing – in all forms such as traditional direct mail services and more digital-based marketing – “has come out of the recession stronger than ever.”
Good news indeed for the country, for business and marketers throughout the UK.
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